With all the media attention given these days to the use-it-or-lose-it nature of female fertility, I’m half convinced my eggs must have all shriveled up back when I hit 25. Via the UK’s Telegraph, though, comes a reminder that many women remain fertile into their 40s and beyond. In Britain, 27,000 babies were born to women over 40 last year, double the number from two decades ago. The number of women over 40 getting abortions has also risen, up 30 percent since 2000.
In total, 8,179 women aged 40 and over terminated pregnancies last year – including more than 650 women above the age of 45, and 21 women aged 50 and over.
Experts quoted in the article say the increase is due to the unprecedented number of unmarried 40-plus — a group it dubs the “Sex and the City” and “Bridget Jones” generation. Ugh. The whole article smacks of hand-wringing and condescension, but if you can get through that, there’s this disturbing stat: British women and men in their 30s and 40s are way less likely to use condoms than their teenage counterparts. Not only is that tempting fate with STDs, but it turns out, women can be fertile after 40, so unless you’ve actually hit menopause, unprotected sex can still put an unwanted bun in your oven.